Entree

Cheetos Cheeseburgers

Cheese up your traditional cheeseburger with smashed Cheetos mixed into the burger meat. With a slice of cheddar on top it’s a double cheeseburger!

Cheetos Cheeseburgers 1

National Cheeseburger Day is a food holiday that should not go unnoticed. In an effort to get your attention I decided to incorporate some extra cheesy-ness in the form of Cheetos. After posting recipes for Cheetos crispie treats and caramelized Cheetos it seems like you cannot get enough of the “dangerously cheesy” stuff and I’m starting to wonder what isn’t good with Cheetos? I actually posted a recipe for Cheetos crusted chicken a long time ago, back in the early days of this blog. You should check it out ;-).

I thought up this cheeseburger back when I made the World Peas burgers. The idea of crunching up something delicious and mixing it into burgers opened up a world of possibilities and I took the obvious next step towards my favorite guilty snack – Cheetos. While the Cheetos flavor in the burgers is subtle, it definitely adds to the air of cheesy-ness combined with a good slice of sharp cheddar on top.

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One year ago: Spiced Peach Cake

Two years ago: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Browned Butter Sauce
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Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup & Giveaway

Summer nights are coming to an end. Get ready for cooler temperatures with this hearty slow cooker minestrone soup.

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup 1

While I like to use my slow cooker year round, now is the time of year when slow cookers typically are used most. Not only has school started for those of you who are students or have kids but the temperatures are starting to decline. As such, the demand for easy weeknight dinners has increased and warm soups/strews are becoming more appealing. I may no longer be a student and do not have kids, but I can still appreciate a comforting soup on a cool night (whenever those decide to get here in TN).

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup 3

Red Gold was nice enough to send me some of their tomatoes to play around with in my slow cooker. I figured since we are on the verge of summer and fall why not make a soup that takes advantage of the remaining summer produce? This minestrone is almost like the kitchen sink of soups, made with cannellini beans, onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, spinach, rosemary, pesto, and a can of Red Gold’s petite diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil. Just wait until those aromas smack you in the face upon arriving home after it cooked all day, you’ll want to dive right in there.

I also happen to have a Red Gold Apron to giveaway to one reader. To enter use the Rafflecopter at the end of this post and answer the prompt in the comments section. But wait, there’s more!

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup 2

Red Gold is hosting a “Red Gold 2-a-day Crock-Pot Give-a-way” running from today September 17 through October 8 on their Facebook page. As the promotion title suggests, they will be giving away two Red Gold branded Crock-Pots every day during for three weeks. Click over to their Facebook page to enter: https://www.facebook.com/RedGold.

One year ago: Pumpkin Spice Pizzas

Two years ago: Loaded Baked Potato Dip
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BBQ Chicken Pizza with Cornmeal Crust

Break out of the traditional pizza mold with this BBQ chicken pizza. A cornmeal crust topped with BBQ chicken, mozzarella, smoked gouda, and red onion.

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Cornmeal Crust

I love pizza, mostly for it’s versatility. Just like brownies andcookies you can cram just about anything in there. Change the crust, sauce, cheese, toppings, seasonings – the combinations are endless. This allows you to make your pizza your own which is why making pizza at home is so much fun. You can even stuff the crust, adding a whole new variable. Did anyone else drool over Pizza Hut’s commercial for their new bacon and cheese stuffed crust? Come to mamma.

If my childhood self knew the kinds of things my adult self would be putting on top of a sacred cheese pizza I would have be dumbfounded. Falafel? Butternut squash? JalapenoEggs!? The horror! And to think I even dared to put onion on today’s pizza. My childhood self would not have stood for it. It was a brave day when I would have sausage or pepperoni. As you can tell I was a very adventurous child when it came to food and I have come a long, long way. Some of my family members still like to recall how picky of an eater I used to be whenever I whip up something particularly unusual.

But I digress. Bring on all the toppings! Today I give you the recipe for a pizza I discovered upon moving to Memphis nearly a decade ago (holy crap), BBQ pizza. I thought Cincinnati was weird their their combination of chili and spaghetti, but BBQ on pizza? Yes BBQ on pizza and it’s wonderful. I even added cornmeal to the crust to give it a cornbread-like flavor. BBQ pizza was the first pizza to open my eyes to the world of non-marinara sauce based pizzas. And what a fabulous journey it has been!

What is your ideal pizza?

Two years ago: Buckeye Cheesecake

Three years ago: Rustic Sourdough Bread
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Open-Faced Ricotta, Arugula, and Egg Sandwiches

Enjoy this open-faced egg sandwich any time of day. Served with Parmsean-herb ricotta, arugula, and a poached egg.

Open-Faced Ricotta, Arugula, and Egg Sandwiches 1

Whenever an egg is involved as the central component of a recipe I feel like it’s breakfast food. But what about this sandwich – is it lunch or breakfast? I actually had it for breakfast but it could easily work for lunch as well, or heck even dinner if you prefer a lighter meal at the end of the day.

In my experience with open-faced sandwiches, they are served with a sauce or gravy on top which soaks in the bread and results in the necessity of forks. This open-faced sandwich doesn’t have any of that, at least not at first. But once you cut into the egg and let the yolk run amok you will find that it’s all the sauce you need.

Open-Faced Ricotta, Arugula, and Egg Sandwiches 2

One year ago: Pink Lemonade Bars

Two years ago: Rosemary Brie Chicken Burgers
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Grilled Polenta with Spicy Steak

Grilled polenta disks and spicy flank steak combines for a satisfying meal. Served with fresh avocado slices, queso fresco, salsa, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Grilled Plenta with Spicy Steak

Don’t close down your grill yet! Just because summer is coming to an end doesn’t mean that grill season is as well. In fact for many people fall is the prime time to grill because it’s football season. Grilling in the fall makes more sense anyway because who wants to stand over a hot grill when it’s 90 degrees outside? Good thing grilling doesn’t usually take very long. This recipe is a quick griller and even though it may not look like a lot on your plate it is surprisingly filling. The grilled polenta disks do the trick.

Then after you’ve satisfied your food cravings, check out some brain food. In case you haven’t been stalking PubMed like I have, my second paper hit the interwebs! Hopefully it’ll advance into print quicker than my first paper but the important thing is that I can change the status of that paper on my resume, at last! Having things published makes me feel like a smarty pants.

Two years ago: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Popcorn

Three years ago: Buffalo Chicken Meatball Subs
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Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Kale, and Gorgonzola Sauce

Fresh cherry tomatoes and kale jazz up this quick and easy pasta dish with a gorgonzola cream sauce. Serve by itself or pair up with grilled chicken.

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Back to school season is here. I may not have children who are getting back into the swing of another school year, nor am I myself in school (which by the way it still has not sunk in that I am no longer a student) but the time has come to start whipping up those quick and easy weeknight meals. This pasta dish not only takes advantage of the tomatoes in season, but comes together in minutes and can be served as a side or by itself. I chose to serve it topped with grilled chicken and garlic bread.

What are your favorite weekday dinner recipes?

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One year ago: Peach Bread

Two years ago: Root Beer Cake Brownies

Three years ago: Biscoff Cheesecake Ice Cream
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Healthy Vegetarian Taco Salad

This colorful vegetarian taco salad comes together in minutes. Quinoa, black beans, corn and kale will fill you up while the spicy avocado dressing satisfies the taste buds

Healthy Vegetarian Taco Salad 1

I go through phases with my food cravings and lately it has consisted of arugula, kale, Mexican food, and ice cream. So why not combine two of them in this healthier taco salad? Other than the quinoa, this vegetarian salad requires no cooking and comes together very quickly making it a great salad for lunch or a weeknight dinner to beat the lingering summer heat. It’s made even healthier by serving it in a bowl of purple cabbage leaves. Crunchy like a tortilla without the guilt. As a bonus it even looks pretty!

Healthy Vegetarian Taco Salad 2

One year ago: Mixed Berry Slab Pie

Two years ago: Roasted Cherry Brownie Cheesecake
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Baked Chicken Fajitas

Trade in taco night for fajita night with these easy baked chicken fajitas. Served with your favorite toppings and wrapped in warm flour tortillas.

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For this month’s Secret Recipe Club I was assigned to Rebekah’s blog Making Miracles. After browsing her recipe list I found myself quickly adding recipes to my bookmarks for things such as Italian sliders, seared pork tortas, and of course oatmeal peanut butter cookies because you all know how much I cannot ignore a good peanut butter recipe. But ultimately I landed on a recipe for baked fajitas – Mexican Monday anyone!?

Baked Chicken Fajitas 1

Fajitas are one of my favorite Mexican dishes to order and I was excited by how easily it came together, and using only one pan, making it a perfect weeknight meal. Serve it with your favorite toppings all wrapped in a soft, warm flour tortilla and your cannot go wrong. I did increased the amount of chicken and bell pepper slightly but other than that kept the recipe the same. Thanks Rebekah for the great meal!

Baked Chicken Fajitas 2

One year ago: Single Serving Peanut Butter Krispie Chocolate Balls

Three years ago: Petri Dish Cookies
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Skirt Steak with Kale Chimichurri Sauce

Seasoned skirt streak topped with a kale chimichurri sauce. So much flavor and easy to make!

Skirt Steak with Kale Chimichurri Sauce 2x

Told you I’ve been making a lot of recipes with kale and arugula lately. I had been wanting to make chimichurri for a very long time so when I found a recipe using kale I finally sprung into action. This steak was everything I hoped it would be. Perfectly seasoned, pick in the middle and topped with an amazingly flavorful chimichurri. There was actually plenty of chimichurri leftover and have enjoyed spreading it on sandwiches and burgers. I want to try it in an omlet next. It’s my new favorite condiment!

Skirt Steak with Kale Chimichurri Sauce 3x

One year ago: Eggplant Manicotti with Creamy Pesto Filling
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Lighter Chicken Bellagio

Oven-fried chicken with prosciutto, arugula and a guiltless pesto-asiago cream sauce aka a lighter version of the popular dish “Chicken Bellagio”.

Lighter Chicken Bellagio 2

Yesterday’s interview for an adjunct teaching position went very well. In fact they were quite impressed with me! The down-side is that they may only have one class for me to teach in the upcoming term (which translates to a small paycheck). But they might have more next term which starts in December, so getting my foot in the door now could pay off. I have lots to think about and if you know me at all you are aware of my very pensive mind. Which is a nice way of saying I think too darn much, especially when it involved life decisions.

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In an effort to not over-think things let’s soothe the mind, body, and soul with some comfort food that’s been lightened up. I first had Chicken Bellagio at an Italian restaurant in Rochester, NY but apparently it is also a very popular dish at the Cheesecake Factory. Either way, after experiencing it I decided I needed to make a homemade version that is slightly healthier. The chicken is oven-fried and served over whole wheat pasta tossed in a light pesto-asiago cream sauce with prosciutto. Top it off with some fresh arugula and it’s a sight for sore eyes!

One year ago: Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers with Guacamole

Three years ago: Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Basil Roasted Peaches
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